June 2013: Index Accessorizes for Summer

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£80.54-0.5%
The Golfalot.com Price Index held firm in June with small growth of 0.1% as small falls across the Golf Club categories were offset by the Golf Accessories sector continuing the upward momentum that drove the Index in May. The Golf Clubs Sector fell by 0.4% as the new equipment lines entering the Index in 2013 has increased competition across all categories as retailers battle to arm golfers for the height of the competitive season. Drivers (-0.3%), Fairways (-1.4%), Utility Clubs (-1.4%) and Irons (-0.5%) all fell in June as the weather and the competition heated up.

The short game categories were the best Golf Club performers in June with both categories offsetting some general price competition with high profile new entrants to the Index. Wedges grew by 0.5% as the new Nike VR Forged range debuted, whilst Putters performed even better, up 0.7%. They were spurred on by the arrival of the new Odyssey Tank putter from Callaway Golf, designed to offer golfers stability ahead of the putter anchoring ban.

With year to date growth of 1.2% the Clubs Sector remains strong with Drivers (+0.3%), Utility Clubs (+4.2%) Irons (+1.7%) trailing the stand out category Putters, which gained +3.5% over the last 12 months. In fact only Fairway Woods (-2.3%) and Wedges (0.7%) have lost ground since last July.

The Golf Accessories Sector enjoyed the fourth consecutive month of positive growth recording the best monthly figures since June 2011 with an increase of 0.9%. Three of the four categories were boosted by the arrival of new kit as only Golf Balls (-0.7%) failed to end the month in positive territory as retailers battled in this key high demand category. However analysis of year to date performance still shows solid growth of 0.4%.

Golf Bags were up +0.5% following the entrance to the Index of the Sun Mountain 4.5 Superlite Carry bag and new arrivals also drove performance in Golf Shoes and Golf Trolleys. Shoes finished up 0.1% with the arrival of the headline grabbing Nike TW 14, while Trolleys proved to be the Accessories Sector star performer with growth of 1.5% as the Powakaddy Freeway Digital made its debut.

As we enter summer the continued stability of the Golfalot.com Price Index gives reason to believe the return of the sun and the prospect of a headline grabbing battle at The Open Championship at Muirfield will give golf a continued boost in the second half of the year.13]

May 2013: Accessories Star As Index Consolidates

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£80.96-1.2%
The Golfalot.com Price Index enjoyed a quiet month in May as falls in the Golf Club Sector resulted in a drop of 0.2% as the new golf equipment released this year became the focus for competition across a number of Club categories.

The Golf Club Sector fell by 0.6% as gains of the last 2 months were reversed due to retailers beginning to compete in these key markets as golfers look to upgrade their clubs ahead of the summer. Despite five of the six Golf Club categories falling this month, the continuing strength of the Golf Club Sector is not in doubt with growth of 1.5% over the last 12 months and all six categories showing positve movement.

As the majority of the Golf Club categories consolidated in May it was left to the Putters category to buck the trend with impressive growth of 1% as the much heralded Daddy Long Legs from TaylorMade entered the Index. This is an interesting time in the Putter market following on from the joint R&A and USGA announcement regarding the proposed ban on anchoring (and the contrary position taken by the PGA Tour and the PGA of America). The golf equipment manufacturers have already shown their ingenuity, for example with Odyssey’s Metal-X Arm Lock and the super stable Tank, and this is a trend we expect to continue.

The remaining Golf Club categories all lost small amounts of ground this month. Drivers (-1.8%), Fairway Woods (-1.3%), Utility Clubs (-1.2%) Irons (-0.2%) and Wedges (-0.3%) as the new equipment that has attracted attention from golfers over the first half of 2013 all witnessed price competition amongst retailers keen to be in prime market position for the anticipated demand.

The Golf Accessories Sector bucked the downward trend in May with a strong performance as all categories impressed as new equipment hit the shelves. Golf Balls grew by 1.7% as the traditional Golf Irons powerhouse, Mizuno, released a new premium ball the MP-S and the company also entered the Index in the Golf Shoes category with the innovative Genem Elite shoe. This was backed up with new shoes from Puma (Faas Lite) and Oakley (Carbon Pro) to fuel growth of 1.8%. Golf Bags (+0.2%) and Golf Trolleys (+0,2%) also contributed to Golf Accessories sector’s best monthly performance since May 2012.

Despite an overall fall the performance of the Golf Accessories Sector and the healthy competition within the strong Golf Clubs categories augur well for the long term health of the Index in the coming months. With a summer devoid of a major sporting events to compete for attention in the summer evenings ahead we all have our fingers crossed for some fine weather.

April 2013: Index Consolidates Position Of Strength

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£81.91+0.2%
The Golfalot.com Price Index grew steadily in April with a small rise of 0.3% consolidating the positive start to 2013 as the recent flurry of new releases strengthened the retail equipment offerings for the season ahead.

The Golf Clubs Sector finished the month at a new record high as growth of 0.4% increased the average cost of Golf Clubs to £938.54, a gain of 3.4% in the last 12 months. Golf Drivers again performed strongly, +0.9%, as prices consolidated following a succession of new entrants since the turn of the year. April saw the Index debut of the Speedline Super LS driver from Adams Golf, the first since the company was acquired by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, and Adams products also entered the index in Fairway Woods (Speedline Super LS) and Irons (Idea Super S).

The strongest performing category in April was Fairway Woods with growth of 1.9% as prices on a number of popular brands bounced back from recent price competition on key products. Utility Clubs (+0.2%), Wedges (+0.1%) and Putters (+0.1) all recorded positive growth, with Putters notably welcoming the impressive Odyssey White Hot Pro Series from Callaway, whilst the Irons category recorded a small fall of 0.1%.

The Golf Accessories sector also consolidated its position in April with growth of 0.1% with small gains in Golf Bags and Golf Trolleys offsetting small losses in the Golf Ball and Golf Shoe categories where retailers competed over the prices of some of the newer releases. Golf Bags was up 0.1% with new bags from Ping and Titleist both entering the Index and Golf Trolleys displayed a similar level of growth (0.1%) with prices remaining strong across all of the major brands in the market. Golf Balls (-0.3%) and Golf Shoes (-0.1%) witnessed competition across a series of manufacturers and brands and both of these highly competitive categories can expect to benefit with new releases in the pipeline and renewed exposure as The Major season gets under way.

With the golfing season in full swing and with hope for an overdue upturn in the weather the solid performance of the Golfalot.com Price Index in April reflects an encouraging platform for the industry to capitalise on the exciting calendar of tournaments and industry events planned over the coming months.

March 2013: Index Continues to Grow

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£81.78+1.4%
The Golfalot.com Price Index continued the 2013 trend of steady growth with a small rise of +0.3% in March as the impact of more new releases sustained the momentum built since the turn of the year.

The Golf Clubs Sector finished the month with growth of 0.3%, increasing the average cost of Golf Clubs to £935.17 representing a rise of 3% over the last 12 months. March saw much anticipated releases enter the Index in the Fairway Woods, Utility Clubs and Irons categories.

Irons (+0.6%) saw the most new activity with the debuts of the Cobra AMP Cell, Ping G25, Nike VR_S Covert and Wilson Staff D100 sets. Having fully recovered the losses incurred during the January sales, these boosted the Irons category to a new record high average price of £423.52.

Fairways (+1.1%) and Utilities (+1.4%) were Golf Clubs’ biggest winners as the Titleist 913F and 913Fd fairway woods and the 913H hybrid replaced the respective 910 models in the Index.

Drivers (-0.9%), Wedges (-1.2%) and Putters (-0.3%) all witnessed retailers competing across key brands as both new and older products saw discounting in the battle for golfers looking to refresh their equipment as the season gets ready to kick off in earnest. Despite this all three categories have performed extremely well over the last year and we expect the Golf Clubs Sector as a whole to perform well throughout the summer months.

The Golf Accessories Sector also consolidated its position in March with growth of +0.3% as positive growth for Golf Balls and Golf Trolleys offset small losses in the Golf Bag and Golf Shoe categories.

Golf Balls performed very well, up 2.6%, as this year’s big release from Titleist, the 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, finally hit the shelves. Golf Trolleys were up 0.5% as the Motocaddy M1 Pro entered the Index, but Golf Shoes were down 0.3% as new entries in the shape of the Adidas Adizero and Ecco Biom Zero were not enough to offset discounts across a number of manufacturers.

With The Masters just around the corner and the majority of club golfers starting to head back to the course as Spring arrives the continued stability of the Golfalot.com Price Index gives much confidence heading into the months ahead.

February 2013: New Products Drive Index Forward

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£80.63+3.7%
The Golfalot.com Price Index bounced back in February as a host of new products across a number of categories made their debuts to boost the Index with impressive growth of 1.4%.

The Golf Clubs sector was the big mover in February, up +2.1%, as many of the headline products launched by manufacturers at the turn of the year hit the shelves. Drivers led from the front with monthly growth of +4.5% pushing this flagship category to a record high with the average price of a Driver breaking £164 for the first time. This growth is not surprising with recently released high profile drivers entering the Index such as the Callaway X-Hot, Cobra AMP Cell, Ping G25 and the R1 and Rocketballz Stage 2 from TaylorMade.

As is now the case with the majority of Golf Club releases, the new ranges also include Fairway Woods and Utility offerings to cover all aspects of the long game so these categories also benefitted from the influx of some impressive new equipment and as a result bounced back from a quiet start to 2013. Fairway Woods were up by +5.0% and Utility Clubs rose by +3.7% in a move that saw the average price a club in this innovative category top £80 for the first time. With the much anticipated 913 Fairway and Hybrids from Titleist due to hit the shelves this month, the future for these categories looks extremely positive. A similar picture is expected in Irons (+0.9%) with big releases due to debut in March. Putters (+0.2%), which welcomed the visually striking Odyssey Versa range from Callaway, and Wedges (-0.5%) both performed steadily too.

The Golf Accessories Sector was flat in February with a small fall of -0.2% as drops in Golf Bags (-0.5%), Golf Shoes (-0.7%) and Golf Trolleys (-0.2%) were offset by a strong showing in then Golf Ball market which rebounded from a disappointing start to the year with growth of +2.4%. Golf Balls were boosted by the introduction to the Index of the new Lethal premium ball from TaylorMade and the updated 2013 version of the popular Nike 20XI range. With Titleist officially unveiling the new 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1X at the PGA show in Orlando we expect Golf Balls to continue to perform well as players look to stock their bags for the season ahead.

The buzz Golfalot.com witnessed at the PGA show in Orlando shows that the golf market continues to innovate despite tough market conditions and these new releases should ensure that the Price Index continues to perform strongly in the months ahead.

January 2013: Index Falls Ahead Of New Year’s New Gear

CategoryAv. PriceChange
Utility Clubs£77.78-1.5%
The Golfalot.com Price Index in January gave a boost to golfers looking for New Year deals as prices fell across the Index leading to a total drop of -1.0% with retailers competing for sales business in both the Golf Clubs and Golf Accessories sectors.

The Golf Clubs sector recorded the biggest drop, falling by -1.4%, with all categories coming under price pressure as seasonal sales dovetailed with the anticipation of new products in the first quarter of 2013. The Golf Drivers category fell by -2.5% with the average price dropping to its lowest level since April 2012 as sale offers in this very popular category tempted golfers with bargains available in a number of the top brands.

This picture was mirrored in both Fairway Woods, January’s highest faller down -4.4%, and Utility Clubs (-1.5%) as older models experienced significant discounting to tempt golfers looking for new clubs to start the year.

High profile hardware releases already announced for the first quarter of 2013 from manufacturers such as Callaway, Cobra, Ping and TaylorMade are set to replace the discounted lines in the coming months and we expect a boost to the Index as a result. The remaining categories in the Golf Clubs sector all fell, with Golf Irons (-0.7%), Wedges (-0.3%) and Putters (-0.2%) all witnessing small reductions across the board.

The Golf Accessories Sector held pretty steady in January (-0.1%) as small discounts were applied widely across manufacturers and brands in the post Christmas sales.

The Golf Balls category recorded the largest falls (-2.5%) as the market prepared for much heralded 2013 releases in the premium ball market with a new version of the Pro V1 from Titleist expected as well as the arrival of the Lethal golf ball from TaylorMade.

Golf Bags (-0.1%) and Golf Trolleys (-0.2%) saw small losses but the Accessories Sector was boosted by Golf Shoes up 1.4% with the Roma and AMP Cell Fusion Shoes from Puma Golf entering the Index.

January traditionally sees a drop in the level of the Index as pre and post-Christmas sales combine to depress prices. However the large number of high profile launches announced at the turn of the year see Golfalot heading to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando with great optimism for the year ahead.

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